Seven things you can do when the going gets tough Hebrews 3:7-4:14

“Hakuna Matata!
What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata!
Ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!”
You may recognise that song from the Disney film The Lion King. “Hakuna Matata” is a Swahili phrase meaning “No worries” or literally, “there isn’t a problem.”
Many preachers find the Hakuna Matata philosophy in this passage of Hebrews.
The myth of “Resting faith”
Pentecostal preachers: “There is a place of rest for the people of God. A place where we can live in victory” A place where the Christian life is simple and easy and doesn’t require effort on our part. Some way in which we can inherit all the promises of God at no cost to ourselves because Christ has won all the victories for us. Preachers suggest we can find this place of effortless victory in different ways.
Some kind of special faith
Some special way of praying
Some special experience of the Holy Spirit
Some preachers say, all we need to do is want God’s blessings and he will give them to us. “What we believe, we receive.” “Name it and claim it.” “I want the peace. I want the joy. I want the healing. I want the provision. I want the protection. I want the prosperity.” But this is the heresy of the “health, wealth and prosperity gospel.” I am sorry to disappoint you. The Bible does not promise Christians a life of effortless victory. The Christian life is never “hacuna matata.”
That is NOT what this passage teaches, or any other part of the Bible either.
INSTEAD the message of Hebrews is:
We will all always face the danger of drifting away or of neglecting our salvation (2:1-3); so we must “always pay careful attention” to God and to depending on Jesus
We must avoid “hardening our hearts” (3:7-8, 12-13)
We all must make sure we “make every effort to enter that rest,” (4:11) and hold firmly to the end (3:14)
The Christian life will be tough – Hebrews tells us. We should expect difficulties and hard times. But what should we do when the going gets tough? Again there is another phrase,
“When the going gets tough the tough get going”
Billy Ocean, Boyzone 1999 Comic relief . What that phrase is taken to mean is, “When the situation becomes difficult, strong people will work harder to meet the challenge.”
That is closer to the message of Hebrews. In fact the whole book gives at least SEVEN things you can do when the going gets tough. Let’s look at them tonight.

1. Stop doing the things you should not be doing.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God …
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-13)

2. Start doing the things God wants you to do.
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. (Heb 3:7-8)

3. We could just give up! That would so often be the easy thing to do. When the going gets so tough that the tough just head for the hills for a quiet life! BUT HEBREWS SAYS “Hang on in there!”
3:6 And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
3:14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end.
4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no-one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

when the going gets tough!
it is NOT usually a sign that you are doing something wrong
it is NOT usually a sign that God is punishing you.
Many of us here are going through tough times. Well done for being here at all today! Times of illness. Times of grief. Times of stress. Times of sadness. Times of disappointment. Times of suffering and some even of persecution. These are all aspects of the normal Christian life! So what should we do?

4. Hang on in there and rejoice that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings.
“we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
NOT “Why me? BUT “Why not me?”
“If you will not bear the cross you cannot wear the crown.”

5. Hang on in there and rejoice that you are being persecuted for Christ’s sake.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Matt 5:11-12)
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. (James 1:2)

6. Hang on in there and accept your hardships as God’s discipline!
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? (Hebrews 12:7)

7. Get some help!
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
(Hebrews 3:12-13)
Encouragement – giving courage to somebody else: discouragement = taking their courage away. We should encourage each other with our words and with our actions! Spurring one another on, supporting one another through the tough times.

Hebrews 10 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

This entry was posted in Hebrews.

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